But a Samaritan who was traveling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity. 34 He went over to him, poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them; then he put the man on his own animal and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the most often quoted stories in the Bible. In essence, Jesus was again speaking of the Golden Rule. “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” So, how are you doing with that one? It sounds good – but do we always jump in to help others? Or do we “Walk On By.”
Yesterday, while writing in my kitchen I heard a bird chirping. It got my attention because the chirping was extremely loud. I thought, “that is one loud bird.” As the chirping continued at near ear piercing levels, I had to get up from my chair and computer and investigate. It sounded as if it was inside my house. Then I thought, “Cats, bird. Cats, bird.”
As I stepped into our living room I found the source of the chirping. A small Blue Jay was on the floor jumping and chirping. Oh, did I mention he was surrounded by our two cats? Toby, our short-haired natural born hunter had gotten another one. Only this time, the little bird was just slightly injured. He hadn’t become lunch yet.
In the past several weeks Toby has been doing what he does. Catch things. So far this summer his tally is 4 birds, a snake and a baby rabbit. We managed to save 2 birds and the baby rabbit. The others? Well…
I managed to get the cats outside and kept the bird in. Our back screen door separated the baby Bluejay from being Toby & Tiger’s next meal or play-thing. Probably both. This morning I took the bird to a local wildlife rehab center. The woman who swept the baby Bluejay into a back room for treatment, returned to scold me about letting our cats outdoors where they can catch and kill little birds and rabbits. I wanted to say “It’s a cat eat bird world out there”, but thought better of it, signed the forms, made a donation and left before I could be brought up on charges of housing two vicious cats.
The moral of this story is that I had a chance to play the Good Samaritan to a little bird. A wild animal living in an animal world where the rules are slightly different from ours. Would I do the same for you? Heaven help me if I wouldn’t.
I find it interesting how sometimes people treat animals better than we treat each other.
You never hear of a mama bear abandoning her cubs. You never learn of a mama cat denying food to one of her kittens. Or a mama duck hatching her eggs and then leaving them to fend for themselves. In our world – sadly it’s a common occurrence.
From our seat here at the top of the food chain we are capable of doing all sorts of things to others, we wouldn’t want done to ourselves. We ignore the needy. Shun the beggar. Sling words like arrows at so-called friends and neighbors and treat foreigners as just that. But, just watch us spring into action to save a baby bird that has fallen from its nest. Or save a horse that has fallen through the ice on a frozen lake. Or a dog who’s limps away from a near fatal encounter with a speeding automobile.
Put the face of a puppy on national TV and you can hear the collective sigh of “Oh, he’s so cute.” from sea to shining sea. But put the face of a street person up on the same screen and our hearts can shut faster than you can say “Help me.”
Puppy? “Oh, he’s so cute.” Person? “Get outta here ya bum.” Hardly the code of good samaritanism.
Matthew West captured this image quite eloquently in his song “My Own Little World”. Matthew’s lyrics lament his own pre-judgment as he drives on by someone standing on a street corner, sign in hand.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know I never judge anyone but myself. But more often than not, I hope you may identify with my life adventures. So starting now, how about we both start expanding our own little worlds. Look opportunities to be a Good Samaritan. I’ll bet we won’t have to look far or long.
But I think Jesus had more in mind than a hand out to a street person, when He said, “Do Unto Others.” I think He meant going a bit deeper. I think He meant calling someone you know who’s been having a tough time of it and inviting them over for a chat. Then – really listening. I think He meant starting a Handy Man Ministry at your church to help senior citizens, single moms and struggling families with small repairs. I think He meant looking for ways to serve without being asked. I think He meant for you and me to step out side our own little world and touch the heart of someone who’s hurting. I think we can do that…
“Father, give me your eyes to see the world as you do. Help me to be a Good Samaritan. Help me to show your love to all who are in need. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!
Today’s Song: “My Own Little World” – Matthew West.